Cantors
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Meet Your Cantors

The Cantor holds a privileged place in the music ministry; competent musicianship skills, adequate vocal abilities and an understanding of liturgy are a must.

  • Usually for those 18 years and above for parish liturgies, and 5th through 8th grade for School liturgies.
  • Basic training is provided. Adults are also encouraged to attend Archdiocesan Cantor Formation Classes.

 

Crystal Sepulveda

Crystal Sepulveda graduated from California State University, Long Beach.  She has received her Bachelor of Music Degree with an option in Vocal Performance, under the study of Shigemi Matsumoto.  She has performed with the CSULB University Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Talberg, the CSULB Collegium Musicum, under the direction of Professor Greg Maldonado and Los Concioneros Community Choir with whom she has performed as a featured soloist.

Crystal was the music director for Holy Trinity Catholic Church’s Life Teen band and currently cantors for the Saturday, 5:30 Mass and other special occasions at Holy Trinity. She is the soprano soloist in the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Choir in Long Beach.

Martin Gaytan

Martin Gaytan is the music director for Holy Trinity Catholic Church’s Life Teen band, and currently cantors for the Sunday 5:30pm Mass.

Nancy Andrews

Nancy Andrews

Enrique Balderas

Josenrique Balderas was born in México City. As child gifted with a voice made for singing, he joined the children's choir at San Felipe de Jesús Catholic Parish, where he also attended school.

Due to the early death of his father, he went to work at the age of 12, playing music and singing in public at parks and at parties, with several bands. After seven years' experience, he entered and won a singing contest sponsored by Televisa, a major TV network in México. This led to recording and performing engagements which enabled him to return to school to study music.

He enrolled at "Escuela de Música Sacra y Liturgia Cardenal Dario Miranda" in México City where he studied under Fr. Xavier Gonzalez and Juan Manuel Lara, both composers of "Flor y Canto" pieces. After seven years of study, Enrique himself began to compose, and has several compositions to his credit, from classical to New Age, as well as some liturgical pieces he has completed, and some he is working on.

After six years performing as a member of Nobilis Factum, a group of pioneers of progressive music in México, Enrique came to the United States, settling in San Pedro. He enrolled in adult school to learn English, and earned his GED. From there, he attended Long Beach City College, studying graphic arts, and computer graphics, and has 146 pieces of copyrighted artwork.

Enrique has attended several "Días de Formación" in Liturgical music, conducted by Sr. Andrea Thompson, as well as a year of study under Dr. Linda O'Brian at St. Margaret Mary Parish, concentrating on cantoring and liturgical preparation. He holds certificates as a Music Director and a Director of Liturgy from the school of Liturgical Advanced Education at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center of Los Angeles.

Enrique's music career spans more than 30 years. He has his own studio in San  Pedro where he teaches guitar, piano and voice.

 

Marie Booth

Marie Booth started singing at a very early age,even before grade school and continued on into high school doing musicals and solos.

She has been an active member of the Holy Trinity Adult Choir since 1987 and as a cantor for the last 4 years.

Marie has been studying Classical music since 1991 and continues her training to this day.

In her travels,she has enjoyed singing throughout Europe,and had the pleasure of performing in St.Mark's Square,Venice,Italy with orchestra.

Marie also had the opportunity to perform at Leisure World,Seal Beach,singing solos and duets for their community. She continues to sing for all types of church services and private events.

 

Teri DiRocco was in the seventh grade at Holy Trinity School when she began singing and playing the guitar at school masses.  Throughout high school, she continued to lead the music for school liturgies at Mary Star of the Sea.  On Sundays, Teri sang with The Leaven, a contemporary choir, at Holy Trinity.  After graduating, Teri relocated to pursue educational goals.  During that time, she remained active in music ministry and gained experience directing contemporary choirs at two different parishes.

After being away for nearly a decade, Teri returned to San Pedro and settled in once more at Holy Trinity.  She joined the Adult Contemporary Choir and, for the past 22 years, she and Justin Ezzi have been co-directing the group.  Justin and Teri have also co-written and recorded several original compositions for which they have received awards.

Teri has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, but has also studied music and vocal performance, extensively, in academic and private settings.  She has had training in classical styles, as well as specialized training in pop vocal styles and recording techniques. Teri also completed the Cantor Formation courses through the Los Angeles Archdiocese, and regularly attends workshops and training seminars in liturgical music and music education.

Teri has cantored for parish masses, Archdiocesan liturgies, and countless weddings and funerals.  She has held positions at other local churches, including Mary Star of the Sea, where she cantored and directed a small contemporary ensemble.  For twelve years, Teri planned and directed the music for mid-week campus masses at Marymount College in Palos Verdes, as well as the college’s annual commencement liturgies.  Teri has also performed at community events, graduation ceremonies, Christmas concerts at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and has sung the National Anthem at Dodger’s Stadium in Los Angeles.

In addition to conducting the Contemporary Choir, Teri enjoys directing the Youth Hand Bell Choir for the parish.  Mrs. DiRocco also teaches classroom music, full-time, to the students in Grades 1 through 8, right here at Holy Trinity School.  As an interdisciplinarian, Mrs. DiRocco teaches the subject of music across the curriculum; as a liturgical musician, she reinforces the importance of music in worship as she prepares the students for school masses, trains student cantors to lead the singing, and directs the children’s choir at the liturgies.

When she’s not at Holy Trinity, Teri loves spending time at home with her husband and children (and her little Pomeranian, Maya!).  She is also writing and producing an album of children’s songs (My Dog’s a Junk Food Junkie) and maintains a teacher’s website at http://teacherweb.com/CA/HolyTrinitySchool/MrsDiRocco and a Blog at
http://sightforsoreminds.blogspot.com/. You may email her at diroccomusic@gmail.com.

Teri is grateful for the opportunity to share her gifts, and prays that she may continue to serve God and the Holy Trinity community as both music minister and teacher.

 

Donna Divona

Donna Divona joined the Holy Trinity Adult choir in 1990 and also sang with the Contemporary choir during that time.  Donna began her Cantor ministry five years ago, supporting the parish community during funeral and wedding Masses. She has also completed the Cantor Formation Course with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. 

Donna has performed with the South Bay Light Opera Company, and with ACT II at the Norris Theatre in Palos Verdes.  Her musical career also includes many years of participation at local community talent shows performing at hospitals and prisons.  Donna’s musical ability was enhanced with ten years of classical voice training. 

Justin Ezzi

Justin Ezzi is the co-leader of the contemporary choir, also known as "Altar Ego."

Justin is grateful for the opportunity to use his talent to give glory & praise to God. He has worked with Teri Di Rocco for 17 years, and -- amazingly -- they are still on speaking terms.

Justin has been a professional musician for over 30 years, and he has produced music for television, movies and commercials. His self-produced "Summerland" got him on Billboard's Top 100. He has been called "a musician's musician," whatever that means.

Currently, Justin plays with The Time Machine, and is exploring heavy metal ukelele.

(Webmaster's note:  Justin, also a stand-up comedian, wrote his own bio.)

 

Ruben Sanchez photo

Rubén Sanchez was born in Brooklyn, New York.  He studied voice at Rutgers College, where he doubled majored and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Psychology.  Mr. Sanchez moved to Long Beach, California at the end of 1987.  He has sung with the Long Beach Opera Company, the Bach Camerata Singers of Long Beach, El Coro de Los Angeles and various other choruses in the greater Los Angeles area.  Rubén has also served as Cantor at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Long Beach.

Joan Shanahan

Joan Shanahan  - Joan’s family came to Holy Trinity Parish in 1963, and she was enrolled in Holy Trinity School before attending high school at Mary Star of the Sea. She studied classical voice under Dr. Sally Etcheto at Cal State Dominguez Hills. She has also studied voice with the late Larry Wong, Perry La Marca, and Byron Smith at Harbor College, from 1990 to present, performing and recording solo and group harmony work in pop, art, jazz and theater numbers, as well as participating in choir and musical theater projects. She appeared in the El Camino College production of "Oklahoma!" Joan currently performs with "The Singsations" at convalescent and assisted-living homes in the South Bay area.

Joan's first position in Catholic Music Ministry was as a cantor at Immaculate Heart Parish, Northglenn, CO, followed by guitar and vocal participation in a contemporary group at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Broomfield, CO. Upon her return to California, she accompanied the Holy Trinity children's choir on guitar, and later played guitar and sang in Tim & Heidi Scott's contemporary group at Holy Trinity. She has sung for numerous weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other special occasions and liturgies, and has been a cantor at Holy Trinity since 1999.

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